At the 2013 edition of Cinequest, I decided to watch this movie on the recommendation of everyone who watched a prior screening of this powerful film. I listened to everyone’s suggestions without hearing the plot because I refuse to know the plot before any film at this festival.
Ibrahim Jarrah is from the Middle East who enters the United States in hopes of working hard to have a successful life and to eventually become an American citizen. Unfortunately, he comes in at the wrong time in New York City on September 10th, 2001, the day before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He gets blamed for coming into the country at the wrong place at the wrong time. He must overcome all the hatred bestowed on him to gain his freedom and his American citizenship while seeing America in its best form as opposed to the ugliness he sees when he witnesses the characters around him.
It was absolutely wonderful. There were so many themes to touch up upon. One of the themes I enjoyed was optimism. Although Ibrahim encountered a lot of terrible obstacles during his stay in New York, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel as opposed to the filthy world others saw. He stuck through the rough times only to see the better. He didn’t expect anything to be given to him. He only wanted the opportunity to earn his worth.
Another theme I saw was friendship. He was a stranger living in a strange environment. He continued to help others and in returned everyone helped him when he needed it the most. It wasn’t about color or where a person is from. It’s about what’s inside a person’s heart that made a difference. Ibrahim was able to gain friendship from different backgrounds.
Fortunately, this movie was near flawless enough where I didn’t have much of a bad thing. The only thing was that I kind of already saw this type of film of a person of another color try to make it in America with hard work and dedication in fellow Cinequest 2013 movie, “Dreamer”.
I watched “The Citizen” on pure hype. I heard so many people say wonderful things about the movie without notifying me what it was about. I had attended this movie with my full time friend, Patrick and was guessing what the movie could be about since none of us read the synopsis for any movie at Cinequest. He had successfully guessed that it was about a person trying to gain American citizenship.
After watching the movie, I had the privilege of talking with the director, Sam Kadi, and picked his mind about where his vision for this film. I felt honored to have seen this movie.
Of course, with the word of mouth from myself and “Open University” member, Strong Arm, helped get the word out about how great this movie is. The most important thing for me was how good it felt at the end knowing that despite the potential downfall, anyone can make it and that there’s always a better end.
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Reviewed by: Mr. Timtastic